I Love Trail Running in Frick Park

After finishing my road racing “season” for this year a while ago with the Run Shadyside 5K that, frankly, left me quite exhausted, I returned to my true love, running easy in the trails of Frick Park, just minutes away from where I live.

On Monday, enjoying the strangely warm and dry weather, I did my usual five-mile route in the morning. The autumn leaves were not yet in full glorious color, but I took along my camera (for the first time ever on a run), to capture some of the experience.

I began by jogging slowly to the closest entrance of the park, the blue slide playground.

Frick Park: blue slide playground

I ran past the playground and the meadow area to get to the Riverview Trail. I prefer getting off concrete and asphalt as quickly as possible when running!

Frick Park: past the blue slide playground

I took Riverview Trail to where it meets with the Riverview Extension Trail that sharply goes downhill, but veered off to take the Lower Riverview Trail.

Frick Park: off Riverview Ext Trail

I like the Lower Riverview Trail because it is relatively more isolated here and is a long, winding trail with tree roots and shade that make the terrain feel more natural. This is where at other times of year I see deer crossing my path.

Frick Park: view from Lower Riverview Trail

Finally, I reached the Falls Ravine Trail, which descends all the way to Fern Hollow. I enjoy this section of my route because I like to run downhill, and to the sounds of the stream that lies along the trail.

Frick Park: to Falls Ravine Trail down

Frick Park: on Falls Ravine Trail down

Reaching the bottom, at Fern Hollow, this is the point at which I use the water fountain (if it is turned on), and then (if I am doing my five mile run and not a longer one) reverse course to return home.

Frick Park: on Falls Ravine Trail at Fern Hollow


I always see a lot of dogs when in Frick Park. But this day, while running back uphill, I saw something I don’t usually see: a guy with his dog high up climbing up well off trail!

Guy and his dog climbing

Here’s a video I took while running along one of my favorite windy sections of the Lower Riverview Trail (warning: very choppy footage).

Finally, on the way back to the blue slide playground entrance to the park, I saw my last set of dogs.

Frick Park: woman walking four dogs


Off road, I always run in my Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek shoes. I love these shoes. They are comfortable, breathe well, do not give me blisters, and protect my feet quite sufficiently against rocks.

Franklin wearing KSO Trek

These are my favorite FiveFingers shoes. The other two models I wear, the Bikila LS and the KSO, are less comfortable for me.


I love trail running, I love Frick Park, and I feel blessed to live in Pittsburgh, and near such a park!

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